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Liverpool vs. Norwich: 10 key things to know ahead of FA Cup clash

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Liverpool host Norwich in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, but a huge elephant in the room dominates the pre-match talk.

Liverpool vs. Norwich

FA Cup fourth round | Anfield
January 28, 2024 | 2.30pm (GMT)


Things were going so swimmingly for the Reds and then the Jurgen Klopp news broke!

Who else is still stunned?

Klopp announced that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, in a decision that has sent shockwaves around the world of football. It will, of course, dominate the pre-match chats in and around Anfield on Sunday.

Championship side Norwich head to Anfield for an FA Cup fourth meeting this weekend, looking to end the Reds’ quadruple hopes.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the game.

 

1. Klopp’s resignation stuns Liverpool

On Friday, Klopp told the world that he has decided to quit as Liverpool manager this summer, citing “running out of energy” as a reason behind his decision.

It has been difficult for Reds fans to concentrate on anything else since the news broke, and it may not fully sink in for a while yet.

Klopp has been a transformative figure at Anfield since October 2015, winning the lot and becoming the most influential figure at the club in decades, and his exit will leave a gaping void.

Expect a big atmosphere on Sunday, for what otherwise might have been a low key game! Sorry Jurgen, but we’ll be singing your song all game!

 

2. Focus now on Norwich

It is important that Liverpool don’t allow the Klopp news to take focus away from the job in-hand.

The Merseysiders are purring at the moment, reaching the League Cup final in midweek, and they will be expected to overcome Norwich on Sunday.

The Canaries are a good side, however, sitting eighth in the Championship this season and threatening to finish in the playoff positions.

With changes expected in Liverpool’s starting lineup, this may not be as easy as some think.

 

3. Klopp up against his best man

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 28, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp gives Huddersfield Town's manager David Wagner a kiss on the cheek before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Huddersfield Town at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp may be an emotional figure on Sunday afternoon, but he will have one of his greatest friends by his side throughout the game.

That’s because Norwich manager David Wagner was the Liverpool boss’ best man at his wedding, highlighting how close they are.

The pair have been great friends for over 25 years, and Klopp is excited ahead of the weekend action, saying:

“We had already conversations about it. He asked me for massive rotation. I told him that doesn’t help, obviously. It’s cool to have the game. When he worked at Huddersfield, he watched a lot of games here in the stadium, when they didn’t play he was here, and now he’s back.

“We didn’t see each other for a long time, the next time probably would have been in the summer, so now it’s good to catch up and to lock horns again.”

 

4. Team news

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 24, 2024: Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the pre-match warm-up before the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Thankfully, Liverpool’s injuries are easing all the time, further suggesting that they are primed to fight across four competitions this season.

Andy Robertson returned to the squad against Fulham on Wednesday night, and while he didn’t come on, he could feature at home to Norwich, most likely from the bench.

Meanwhile, Dominik Szoboszlai is also back in contention after returning to full training, while Trent Alexander-Arnold is also back in the squad.

Mohamed Salah continues to undergo a rehabilitation programme, in order to be fit for the latter stages of the Africa Cup of Nations, and he won’t be back for Liverpool until February.

Thiago and Stefan Bajcetic are still missing, but Thiago was spotted in training on Friday.

 

5. Who are Norwich’s key men?

Norwich will know that they are big underdogs heading into the match, but that’s not to say that they don’t have players who can hurt Liverpool.

Attacking midfielder Jonathan Rowe leads their Championship scoring charts with 12 goals in the division this season, also adding two assists.

Gabriel Sera is another key man with 13 goal contributions overall (five goals and eight assists), and the central midfielder has started every league game in 2023/24 to date.

Angus Gunn is an important figure in the Norwich goal, and the home fans will be hoping he isn’t the latest visiting goalkeeper to be in inspired form at Anfield.

His father Bryan started the last time Norwich beat Liverpool – more on that later…

 

6. Predicted Liverpool XI

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 21, 2024: Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Liverpool FC at Dean Court. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp is expected to ring the changes, especially with a crucial Premier League clash at home to Chelsea looming on Wednesday night.

Allison is expected to return in goal, with Caoimhin Kelleher the designated League Cup goalkeeper, while Conor Bradley should continue in the absence of Alexander-Arnold.

Ibrahima Konate is likely to come back into the defence, potentially rotating for Virgil van Dijk, while Owen Beck could well get a start at left-back.

Curtis Jones is another who should return to the XI after being on the bench in midweek, and Bobby Clark will hope to make only his second-ever Liverpool start.

Diogo Jota will surely be in attack after not starting at Fulham, with Darwin Nunez possible the one to make way after lots of minutes recently.

Possible Liverpool XI: Alisson; Bradley, Konate, Quansah, Beck; Jones, Clark, Gravenberch; Elliott, Gakpo, Jota.

 

7. Klopp’s presser

Jurgen actually held his pre-Norwich press conference on Thursday, which was odd – little did we know the reason why at the time.

In truth, there wasn’t much discussion about Norwich specifically, but there were some words on his best friend, David Wagner.

 

8. Did You Know?

Liverpool's Adam Lallana (20) celebrates with his team-mates and manager Jurgen Klopp after scoring his side's fifth goal during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich.

It’s fair to say that Liverpool have enjoyed plenty of success against Norwich down the years, including the famous 5-4 victory and last-gasp Adam Lallana winner in 2016, when Klopp lost his glasses amid the celebrations.

In fact, the last time the Canaries tasted victory over the Reds was all the way back in 1994, when a Jeremy Goss strike earned them a 1-0 win in the last game in front of the old Kop.

That is 30 years ago in May, which seems scarcely believable, meaning Liverpool are unbeaten in 18 matches against Norwich.

The most recent meeting was in the FA Cup fifth round in March 2022, as Klopp’s men won 2-1 at Anfield, thanks to a Takumi Minamino double – en route to lifting the trophy.

 

9. A new referee for Liverpool

Sam Barrott has been confirmed as the referee for Sunday’s game, in what will be his first-ever match in charge of Liverpool.

Only 30 years of age, Barrott has taken charge of nine Premier League fixtures this season, including Arsenal‘s 4-3 win away to Luton last month.

He has shown one red card in that time, sending-off Fulham‘s Raul Jimenez in his side’s 3-0 defeat away to Newcastle.

 

10. Join us on TIA’s live blog

LONDON, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 24, 2024: Liverpool's Luis Díaz celebrates after scoring the first goal during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Fulham FC and Liverpool FC at Craven Cottage. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Norwich is live on ITV 1 from 1.55pm (UK) on Sunday, with kickoff at 2.30pm.

Alternatively, TIA’s matchday live blog will be running as always, with Henry Jackson trying not to cry thinking about Klopp, instead guiding you through the action.

Come on you Reds!